Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Roman Holiday. By Taxi Leak's Roving Reporter.

Dear All,

Just back from a city break in Rome, very interesting and whilst they could be cruel, you have to admire the skill and genius of the Roman Builders etc.

Whilst there I (as ever) have a 'shufti' at the goings on at the local cab trade to see if there's anything we might consider.

Well let's start at the beginning, the cab trade in Rome is over two thousand years old and the first licence was issued to Thomasus Taxius who worked the forum rank.

Now today, there are ranks all over the city which seemed well served and by observation from my street cafe table ticked over nicely.

There is a Knowledge and the drivers are friendly and knowledgable, most are Romans born and bred and appear to get a decent living.

Cabs are all white, no liveries and can be any four door saloon. I asked about wheelchair cabs and found they have to be booked in advance or the other drivers are happy to radio for one but there is a Taxicard type scheme to discount fares.

Every cab has a sticker advertising the fixed price to and from the two airports to the city centre (within the Roman walls). It's about £40.00 all in and seems that the vast majority of hotels and punters use cabs and the airport rank again seemed to move nicely. It takes about 20 to 25 minutes to town from both.

Now here's some things we could do with:

1. There are different flag falls for day, evening and night rates, starting at 4.5 Euros and up to 6.5 Euros for nights.

2. Diesel is cheaper here and cabs get favourable treatment, as they are seen as essential services.

3. The first piece of luggage is free, then it's 1 euro a pop.

4. All the drivers and I mean ALL, are in the cab drivers section of the union who as we know, won't hesitate to defend their living.

5. There is PH but it must be pre booked timed ahead and its very much seen as a substandard service. I saw no evidence of touting and when I asked cab drivers if it happened, they just laughed and said no.(Here its PH that laughs!).

6. Every cab I saw was in good condition and clean.

So my friends, it seems that whilst we are still voted the worlds no.1 we are beginning to fall behind in terms and conditions.

As for Rome, very well worth a visit for the awe inspiring colosseum etc. etc. and it seems traffic lights and stopping at crossings is a optional pastime but surprisingly you soon become aware.

Food is good and prices as you would expect in the tourist spots are expensive, but on a par with us elsewhere.


PB the travelling man.


Anonymous said...

You should have sent a post-card to Hendy & Hogan-Howe of your findings there! I've been to Rome before and have noticed a good taxi service, driven by native tongue romans.
Bet you didn't see any rickshaws nicking the work or driving the wrong way down one way streets?
It seems that TFL & the Police are more than happy to make London look like a 3rd world city with mini-cabs parked outside all the City's late night venues and restaurants. Bet their union hasn't signed up to an engagement policy too! SW BOY

Anonymous said...

the problem is the taxi service in rome looks like addison lee same cars and this is what the powers want in london rather than maybe 40% of 25000 green badges on the road with the others driving for beer money they would like 30 or 40 k cars working hard servicing london properly question 1 how do you stop touting answer leagalise it

Editorial said...

Yeh great idea
How do we stop serious sexual assault, legalise it?
How do we stop rape, legalise it?
What about murder, legalise it

Anonymous said...

So what the editor thinks is that all ph drivers are rapists or sexual preditors and you wonder why nobody listens to any of are trade anymore pathetic ps.this comment is just for you editor

Anonymous said...

Spartacus was the first recorded tout in history.

He always hung up outside the Coliseum looking for a roader to Capra.